CONNECTIONS News – 03/11/2012

Connecting man to man to God
For week of March 11, 2012
Issue 399

The weekly newsletter of Path Of Life Ministries.
Our mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for Christian men to grow in their faith and minister to others.

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“May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. He’s the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (CEB)

CONSIDER
“Many a humble soul will be amazed to find that the seed it sowed in weakness, in the dust of daily life, has blossomed into immortal flowers under the eye of the Lord.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe

CHRISTIANS GIVE UP CO2 FOR LENT
For many Christians the 40-day period of fasting and reflection before Easter known as Lent is a chance to get in mental and spiritual shape. People give up chocolate, quit drinking or smoking, avoid meat, start reading the Bible regularly, or even give up social media—small “fasts” intended to discipline and redirect one’s mind to the divine. For Catholics, liturgical Protestants, and increasingly, nondenominational Christians around the country, Lent fasts can often feel like another round of New Year’s resolutions—a second attempt at giving up small indulgences for personal betterment.

But this year thousands of Christians worldwide are making a bigger statement: giving up carbon to help save the planet.

Faith groups leading the charge dub this practice a “carbon fast.” Of course, completely giving up carbon use is nearly impossible. But from taking on daily ecological-minded actions such as walking to work to engaging in national advocacy and carbon-reduction campaigns, these groups are determined to bring awareness of human involvement in climate change and to promote stewardship of the earth throughout the 40 days of Lent…. Read this in full at
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/03/carbon_fast.html

DON’T BE AFRAID
“Don’t be afraid, no matter your age, education level, or economic circumstance, to go out and take a leap into life, instead of grinding away and letting your life slip away from you. Have the courage to strike out. Try something new.”
Rich DeVos

COMING — THE MOST AWFUL DAY IN MANKIND’S HISTORY
by Rick Marschall
This is a Lenten message, but about the end of the Lenten Season, not the beginning. So many holy days / holidays are associated with the period before Easter, that some can lose their meaning, if not their significance. We can think of how Mardi Gras and various Carnivals around the world steal from the unique spirituality of the Lenten Season that begins on Ash Wednesday. And during Holy Week itself, yes, commercialism and carnality intrude, but mostly the immense implications of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, tend to eclipse the other days.

We sometimes can benefit from looking at days on the church calendar that are less celebrated than others; and it is good to think about Christian days “out of order.” In fact it interrupts our appreciation of the fullness of God when we compartmentalize Christmas in the winter, Easter in the Spring … whoops, Palm Sunday comes first, let’s keep things in order. Commemoration is beneficial, and I’ll be the first to admit that I need reminders about some things; but we can let the calendar rule us, sometimes….

But except for ancient traditions and very liturgical and Orthodox churches, and even then never to the degrees accorded other holy days, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday receives scant focus. “Holy Saturday” is the only name it has, and some ancient rites would hold services in stark settings, and exercise fasting, on the day. It deserves a major portion of our attention…. Read this in full at
http://www.mondayministry.com/blog/2012/02/26/coming-the-most-awful-day-in-mankinds-history/

ANT LANGUAGE
by Clare DeGraaf
“When two denominations, or theologians who love God deeply and both have a high view of scripture, disagree on a doctrinal issue, the problem may be ant language.”

When I gave this answer, I was responding to a series of questions fired at me by a small group of college and post-college students I was leading through Europe, teaching the history of Christianity and biblical worldviews. We were sitting in a sidewalk café in Geneva, Switzerland, discussing Calvinism, in John Calvin’s town.

Here’s what they wanted to know; “Why is it that people who claim to love God and read the same Bible as the next person, can come to polar opposite conclusions on so many issues? That drives us younger Christians nuts. Why give your life and energy to fighting each other over theological issues instead of just loving people and introducing people to Jesus? That’s one reason kids our age are simply walking away from the church.”

If you’re interested in dialoguing with your children or grandchildren about these questions yourself, you might find the next few weeks’ blogs helpful…. Read this in full at
http://www.claredegraaf.com/2012/03/05/ant-language/

CHURCH OF NASCAR MINISTERS TO DRIVERS IN A ‘LIFE-OR-DEATH SPORT’
The scene at the pre-race drivers’ meeting at Daytona International Speedway Sunday morning before the Daytona 500 was a typical pre-race circus. Reporters everywhere. Blinding flashbulbs and microphones jammed into drivers’ faces.

But after the meeting, which happens two hours before each race, the media leaves and the doors are shut. The roar gives way to silence. Church is about to begin.

The service is what some call the church of NASCAR, part of a national ministry for drivers, pit crew members and their spouses and kids. It is often the only quiet moment these families get during days at the track.

The chapel services are run by the Motor Racing Outreach, founded in 1988 by legendary NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip and his wife, Stevie, and a handful of other drivers…. Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/03/church-of-nascar-ministers-to-drivers-before-the-race/

FOCUSED ON HEAVEN
“The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan, 1952, reprint, HarperCollins, 2001, p. 75

SUPREME COURT DECISION MAY INFRINGE ON PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
On February 17, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously dismissed the appeal of two Quebec parents who requested that their children be exempted from the mandatory Ethics and Religious Culture Program, offered in Quebec schools since 2008.

The parents, identified only by their initials, S.L. and D.J., said that the program interfered with their ability to pass on the Catholic religion to their children, and that exposing their children to various religions was confusing for them.

The program is taught throughout elementary and secondary school (grades 1-11) and covers Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, aboriginal and other beliefs. All students in the province, including children who are home-schooled, are required to take it…. Read this in full at
http://canadianchristianity.com/news/national/supreme-court-decision-infringe-parental-rights-religious-freedom/

A GLOBAL EVANGELICAL ELITE
by Peter Berger
Belatedly I have just read a report issued in June 2011 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, an organization that has been producing interesting survey data about worldwide religion with astounding frequency. This one is titled “Evangelical Protestant Leaders”. It contains the results of a survey of Evangelical leaders from all over the world who gathered in Cape Town in October 2010 at the Third Lausanne Congress of World Evangelization. The first such gathering occurred in 1974 in Lausanne (Switzerland), convened by none other than Billy Graham. It issued a document called the Lausanne Covenant, a lengthy and feisty statement of core Evangelical beliefs. The original impetus has continued in something (what else?) called the Lausanne Movement, which has its headquarters in the US. In case you wondered, the Second Congress took place in Manila in 1989. (Who said that Evangelicals are averse to globe-trotting?)

A total of about 4,500 delegates attended the Cape Town event—43% from the so-called Global North (aka as Europe, North America, and some outliers like Australia) and 57% from the so-called Global South (aka as everyone else—in Latin America, Africa and Asia). The survey questionnaire was distributed to all delegates in nine languages (including English); 50% completed the survey (which indicates very strong interest). The report is, by its very nature, chock full of statistics. I don’t know about readers of my blog, but my eyes tend to glaze over when presented with mountains of figures. (I like to say that every time arithmetic was being taught in my elementary school in Vienna, I had the measles—like four times a week. I have had the measles ever since.) Sometimes, though, slogging through such statistics is very instructive. It is in this case.

After an initial perusal of the report, I went over it again and sorted the material out into two categories—findings that did not surprise me, and findings that did. I will follow the same categories here…. Read this in full at
http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/berger/2012/02/29/a-global-evangelical-elite/

INTERVIEW: HOBBY LOBBY’S STEVE GREEN – BIBLE ENGAGEMENT VISIONARY
Steve Green’s official title may be Hobby Lobby president, but at heart he’s a visionary for Bible engagement. He devotes half his time to promote the study and reading of what he calls the “most-banned, most-debated, best-selling book of all time.”

While the average American owns seven Bibles, Green and his family own over 40,000.

The collection is more than just a hobby. Green bought his first rare biblical artifact in November 2009 and now oversees The Green Collection, which has grown to be the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts. He is also working on building a national, nonsectarian Bible museum in Washington D.C. to house the collection.

In the meantime, parts of the collection are being shown to the public through “Passages,” a worldwide traveling exhibition which has stopped in Oklahoma City and is currently in Atlanta.

Motivated by his “love for God’s Word,” Green wants to use his collection to inspire people to engage with Scripture and come to know the God of the Bible.

The Christian Post spoke with Green while he was at the Vatican this week for the launch of “Verbum Domini,” a special exhibit of 150 rare biblical antiquities celebrating the interfaith contributions of Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Orthodox Christians to the Bible…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/interview-hobby-lobbys-steve-green-bible-engagement-visionary-70746/

DONALD TRUMP OR GOD? AMERICA VOTES ON WHOSE FINANCIAL ADVICE IS BETTER
In a down economy, many Americans are searching for advice on how to manage their finances. But whose advice do they trust? A new study shows more Americans are willing to take advice from Donald Trump (50%), a man whose companies have filed for bankruptcy at least four times, than from the Bible (32%), the bestselling book of all time. Yet the Bible has more than 2,000 verses that relate to money and possessions.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of American Bible Society to coincide with the release of The Financial Stewardship Bible, also finds that:
* 1 in 10 Americans age 18-34 would be most inclined to take financial advice from Kim Kardashian
* 86% of Americans do not follow what the Bible says about money management
* 1 in 4 Americans (24%) who do not follow what the Bible says about money think they would have more money if they followed its advice
* 94% of Americans are unable to attribute a verse from Proverbs about the rewards of work to the Bible…. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/press-releases/donald-trump-or-god-america-votes-on-whose-financial-advice-is-better

WATCH YOUR TONGUE: LESSONS FROM RUSH
by Chuck Colson
Name calling. It’s just about the worst thing you can do in public discourse, as one prominent radio host proved. Radio host Rush Limbaugh had a bad week recently. And thanks to his imprudent, unkind, and rude outburst against a female Georgetown University law student, so did the cause of religious freedom.

The student, Sandra Fluke, told democratic lawmakers that Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, did not provide insurance coverage for contraception. This, she said, meant that Georgetown law students would have to spend $3,000 of their own money for contraceptives over the course of their law-school tenure.

A reasonable response to Ms. Fluke’s statement would be to ask why a Catholic institution’s First Amendment rights should be overturned just because Ms. Fluke and her fellow law students want free contraception. But Mr. Limbaugh’s response was anything but reasonable…. Read this in full at
http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/18906

BILLY GRAHAM RAPID RESPONSE TEAM DEPLOYS TO FOUR STATES AFTER DEADLY TORNADO OUTBREAK
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (http://www.billygraham.org/response) has deployed to five locations in four states after recent tornadoes claimed dozens of lives and caused millions of dollars of damage to homes and businesses from the Midwest to the South. Teams of disaster-trained chaplains will minister to the needs of storm survivors in and around the communities of Harrisburg, Ill.; Madison, Ind.; Henryville, Ind.; West Liberty, Ky.; and Charlotte, N.C.

“It’s impossible to overstate the pain and despair caused by tornadoes,” said Jack Munday, director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “There are times when you can see a disaster coming and have an opportunity to get out of the way. Tornadoes are so sudden. One minute your life is normal, and the next your whole world has been turned inside-out. Please pray for these dear people as they grieve and mourn, and as they begin to try to put the pieces back together again. We will be there to respond with compassion and the hope of Jesus Christ.”
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/1464119117.html

LIVING IN AN EVIL WORLD
by Bill Ellis
Most every magazine or newspaper I read tells of another attack on the Christian faith – on those who believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Many are convinced that our world, and specifically our nation, is becoming more evil with each passing day.

Our society is filled with fear, anxiety, depression and angst. Millions are terrified, angry, worried and approaching wits end.

In the midst of uncertainty and confusion, there is an explanation and an answer to the questions that are the most baffling. Franklin Graham writing about present day attacks on religion says, “I believe we are facing the greatest threat to religious liberty in our lifetime. These events are just some of the most recent signs of the growing war on people of faith, especially Christians who believe that the Bible is God’s Word and that Jesus Christ alone is Lord” (DECISION, March, 2012) …. Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2012/s12030038.htm

ONLINE CAMPAIGN SHOWCASES CHURCH — AND FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS
The global media ministry of Christianity Today is asking men and women to share their hopes for the church in a creative new online campaign combining story and video.

The just launched “Hope for the Church” (http://www.ChristianityToday.org/hope) campaign is designed to encourage online visitors with all that the global church is doing to positively engage communities and cultures in Jesus’ name.

“The global church is thriving,” says Harold Smith, Christianity Today President and CEO, “and its multiple stories speak of the transforming power of the Gospel as it permeates all spheres of life.”

“And we want to tell more of those stories.”

For example, one young couple shared, “Our hope is that people will be drawn to the church because it is very different from the world.”

Visitors to ChristianityToday.org/hope are therefore being encouraged to share their stories and their individual hopes for Christ’s church in postings on the site. The first 1,000 contributors will receive a free subscription to the ministry’s flagship magazine, Christianity Today.

“We know Christ has a word for the world’s cultures, and we now have an opportunity to speak that word by showcasing what the church is — or can — do in the days to come,” Smith says.
http://www.ChristianityToday.org/hope

RELIGION AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Religious groups across the spectrum are using social media to connect with their members and reach out to new audiences. Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly correspondent Kim Lawton looks at some of the creative ways groups are making use of new online technologies and examines the potential impact on beliefs, practices, and religious leadership structures…. Read and view this in full at
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/april-1-2011/religion-and-social-media/8470/

RICK WARREN ON MUSLIMS, EVANGELISM and MISSIONS
An interview with Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life:
QUESTION: Do people of other religions worship the same God as Christians?

WARREN: Of course not. Christians have a view of God that is unique. We believe Jesus is God! We believe God is a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not three separate gods but one God. No other faith believes Jesus is God. My God is Jesus. The belief in God as a Trinity is the foundational difference between Christians and everyone else. There are 2.1 billion people who call themselves Christians . . . whether Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Pentecostal, or Evangelical . . . and they all have the doctrine of the Trinity in common.

QUESTION: A recent newspaper article claimed you believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God, that you are “in partnership” with a mosque, and that you both agreed to “not evangelize each other.” You immediately posted a brief refutation online. Can you expand on that?

WARREN: Sure. All three of those statements are flat out wrong. Those statements were made by a reporter, not by me. I did not say them . . . I do not believe them . . . I completely disagree with them . . . and no one even talked to me about that article! So let me address each one individually: First, as I’ve already said, Christians have a fundamentally different view of God than Muslims. We worship Jesus as God. Muslims don’t. Our God is Jesus, not Allah. Colossians 2:9 says “For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Second, while we urge our members to build friendships with everyone in our community, including Muslims and other faiths, (“Love your neighbor as yourself”), our church has never had any partnership with a mosque. Friendship and partnership are two very different levels of commitment. Some of our members have hosted a Bible study with Muslim friends, which I applaud, but I’ve never been to it, and a Bible study certainly isn’t any kind of partnership or merger! It’s just crazy that a simple Bible study where people explore scripture with non-Christians would be reported as a partnership and others would interpret that as a plan for a new compromised religion. Just crazy! Third, as both an Evangelical and as an evangelist, anyone who knows me and my 40 year track record of ministry knows that I would never agree to “not evangelizing” anyone! I am commanded by my Savior to share the Good News with all people everywhere, all the time, in every way possible! Anyone who’s heard me teach knows that my heart beats for bringing others to Jesus…. Read this in full at
http://saddleback.com/blogs/newsandviews/news–views-030212/

ISRAEL AND THE PLIGHT OF MIDEAST CHRISTIANS
by Michael Oren
The church in Bethlehem had survived more than 1,000 years, through wars and conquests, but its future now seemed in jeopardy. Spray-painted all over its ancient stone walls were the Arabic letters for Hamas. The year was 1994 and the city was about to pass from Israeli to Palestinian control. I was meeting with the church’s clergy as an Israeli government adviser on inter-religious affairs. They were despondent but too frightened to file a complaint. The same Hamas thugs who had desecrated their sanctuary were liable to take their lives.

The trauma of those priests is now commonplace among Middle Eastern Christians. Their share of the region’s population has plunged from 20% a century ago to less than 5% today and falling. In Egypt, 200,000 Coptic Christians fled their homes last year after beatings and massacres by Muslim extremist mobs. Since 2003, 70 Iraqi churches have been burned and nearly a thousand Christians killed in Baghdad alone, causing more than half of this million-member community to flee. Conversion to Christianity is a capital offense in Iran, where last month Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was sentenced to death. Saudi Arabia outlaws private Christian prayer.

As 800,000 Jews were once expelled from Arab countries, so are Christians being forced from lands they’ve inhabited for centuries…. Read this in full at
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203960804577239923033348982.html

INSIGHT FOR LIVING BLOG ABOUT ISRAEL
The Insight for Living Ministries 2012 Israel Tour is underway until March 16. “See” Israel with Chuck Swindoll, the Insight for Living Ministries team, and hundreds of friends while they tour the Holy Land. Daily blog updates are posted at the 2012 Israel Travelers’ Blog. They feature videos and images of Chuck Swindoll and seminary professors speaking on-site, as well as clips of and by tour members…. Read these posts at
http://insightforliving.typepad.com/2012_israel_experience/

VERSE TO PONDER
“Examine me, God! Look at my heart! Put me to the test! Know my anxious thoughts! Look to see if there is any idolatrous way in me, then lead me on the eternal path!”
Psalm 139:23-24 (CEB)

CONSIDER
“We need old friends to help us grow old and new friends to help us stay young.”
Letty Cottin Pogrebin

NEW PEW FORUM STUDY EXPLORES RELIGIOUS MAKEUP OF IMMIGRANTS
A new report on religion and international migration by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that Christians comprise nearly half — an estimated 106 million, or 49% – of the world’s 214 million international migrants. According to the study, Faith on the Move: The Religious Affiliation of International Migrants (http://www.pewforum.org/Geography/Religious-Migration.aspx), Muslims make up the second-largest group — almost 60 million, or 27%. The remaining quarter are a mix of Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, adherents of other faiths and the religiously unaffiliated (those who identify as atheists and agnostics or say they have no particular religion).

In some respects, the religious affiliation of migrants mirrors the religious composition of the world’s population. For instance, Christians and Muslims are the two largest religious groups among migrants as well as the two largest religious groups in general. However, Christians comprise a much greater share of migrants (about one-in-two) than they do of the general population (nearly one-in-three). Muslims also are somewhat overrepresented among migrants, though not by as large a margin. They comprise only a slightly higher share of migrants (27%) than of the world’s population (23%). On the other hand, some religious groups are underrepresented among migrants. Hindus, for example, comprise about 5% of international migrants but 10-15% of the global population…. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/press-releases/new-pew-forum-study-explores-religious-makeup-of-immigrants

LOVE NEEDS NO JUSTIFICATION
by Skye Jethani
The church has been addressing matters of mission and justice ever since Pentecost — the Book of Acts, after all, isn’t just a list of evangelistic sermons. And the issue is repeatedly found among Patristic writings. But my own understanding of how evangelism and social justice intersect has been informed by a more recent church father — John Stott.

Stott, whose service to the Lord in this age ended last year, was neither American nor a Gen-Xer. He was English, Anglican, and a theological heavyweight of 20th century evangelicalism. Together with Billy Graham, he established the Lausanne Movement, and crafted one of the most respected and widely accepted modern statements of Christian faith and mission — the Lausanne Covenant.

But having witnessed the many horrors of the 20th century, Stott also wrestled with the question of evangelism and social action. And what he concluded has much to say to us in the 21st century. In short, Stott believed both sides of the controversy were in error…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2012/winter/loveneeds.html

ON LIVING WELL
“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.”
James A. Michener

NFL PLAYER TURNED PASTOR: ALMOST EVERYTHING IN SOCIETY IS AGAINST FATHERHOOD
NFL-wide-receiver-turned-pastor, Freddie Scott II, who now helps empower families, believes that “almost everything” in society today, especially entertainment, is making it hard to be a good father.

Scott, founder and president of Unlock the Champion, LLC, was the speaker at a Family Research Council-sponsored event titled “The Dad I Wish I Had: The Crisis of Fatherhood in the American Family,” which was named after Scott’s first book.

Scott told The Christian Post after the event that media and entertainment are strong forces against fatherhood. “From media, entertainment, there are a lot of things that are creeping in to sort of shape the expectation in the minds of men in what being a man really is,” said Scott. “If it’s for me to be rich and sleep with a lot of women and do this, okay, now I am a man. Well guess what? I just sabotaged my life.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/nfl-player-turned-pastor-almost-everything-in-society-is-against-fatherhood-71093/

LAST DANCE AT THE BUS BAR
by W. Bruce Cameron
When my son was a toddler, he used to love riding in his car seat because it gave him a stable platform from which to pitch things at the back of my head. His giggly joy when he managed to nail me with a soggy chunk of Pop Tart was so full of delight I couldn’t find it in my heart to get mad at him, though I hated it when my boss would interrupt a meeting to ask me if I realized I had pastry crumbs in my hair.

When he wasn’t filling the air with projectiles he would be singing out landmarks as we passed them. “Bus Bar!” he always cried when we drove by the outbuilding where the county kept the school busses corralled—the “bus barn.” In the summer the busses baked under the sun like large beasts napping in a field, but during the school year the busses were sometimes out on their rounds, inspiring a conversation like this:

“No bus Daddy?”
“No, no busses today.”
“No bus?”
“No bus.”
“No bus?”
“No bus.”
“No bus?”
“Okay, fine. Yes. Yes, there was a bus.”
“No bus?”

I’m not sure when it was decided that it was no longer necessary for him to be strapped into a child safety seat whenever we went for a car ride, though I am fairly certain it was before he got his driver’s license. And I don’t remember the last time he thought the lack of busses at the bus barn was a topic worthy of debate.

What I do remember is the last time he held my hand. We were downtown on a crisp fall afternoon, navigating on foot through the impatient rush-hour traffic on our way to the bookstore. This is a kid who grew up in the mountains and who had always regarded automobiles as solitary hunters; confronted with so many of them on the prowl at once, their tires barking angrily at stoplights, he became very nervous. He might have been aged eight, then—certainly old enough that my instinctive, parental reach for him whenever we crossed a street was always shaken off with a shrug of annoyance. But the very real danger posed by all that hurtling metal caused him to seek reassurance, and I felt his hand curl up into mine as we stepped off the curb.

It was the size of it that struck me, how much his fist had grown since the last time I’d held it. That, in turn, led me to reflect on the fact that we just didn’t hold hands any more.

Safely across the street, he released me, and we left the episode un-remarked. For me, though, it was a rare milestone in the otherwise shockingly swift transformation of my little boy into man.

Parents are not often afforded the opportunity to specifically remember and treasure the last time our kids perform some childlike act. I can’t recall the final bedtime story I read my children, or the last time any of them needed to be carried anywhere. I didn’t notice when it was no longer necessary for me to kiss every one of their dolls goodnight when I tucked my daughters in, or even the last time I tucked them in. There’s no warning that a treasured ritual is having its curtain call; if there were, perhaps we’d do something special to record the occasion, in memory if not on paper or video tape, so that maybe we could relive that precious moment.

Nowadays whenever I pass the bus barn and the yellow behemoths are out on their routes, I note it for the record. “No busses,” I murmur, even if I am by myself. If my son is in the car with me he gives me a bland look, registering my observation but clearly feeling the matter doesn’t call for further conversation. He doesn’t remember.

But I do remember, just as clearly as I can remember the wet smack of a partially chewed pop tart catching me behind the right ear, and the last time he held my hand, crossing a busy street on an autumn afternoon.
http://www.wbrucecameron.com/
Copyright W. Bruce Cameron 2012. Permission is granted to send this to others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.

TIM TEBOW EXPLAINS WHY HE ‘TEBOWS;’ USES BIBLE VERSES
Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow made appearances in Las Vegas, Nevada, recently and spoke to thousands of his Christian fans about “Tebowing,” printing Bibles verses on his eye black, and what Jesus means to him.

The 3,000-seat Canyon Ridge Christian Church at Lone Mountain Road and Jones Boulevard could not hold the crowd Sunday and about 1,800 people had to sit under a tent outside to watch the service via video feed, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal.

One of the reasons he gets on a knee, he says, “is because that’s a form of humbling yourself. I want to humble myself before the Lord and say thank you for this opportunity. Thank you for letting me play the game I love. Whether I’m good or bad, whether I’m the hero or the goat, whether I score four touchdowns or throw four interceptions, that will still be the same person, honoring the Lord.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/mar/03/tebow-talks-bible-verses-ministering-tebowing/

WHAT TO SAY WHEN SOMEONE SAYS “THE BIBLE HAS ERRORS”
by Jonathan Dodson
Most people question the reliability of the Bible. You’ve probably been in a conversation with a friend or met someone in a coffee shop who said: “How can you be a Christian when the Bible has so many errors?” How should we respond? What do you say?

Instead of asking them to name one, I suggest you name one or two of the errors. Does your Bible contain errors? Yes. The Bible that most people possess is a translation of the Greek and Hebrew copies of copies of the original documents of Scripture. As you can imagine, errors have crept in over the centuries of copying. Scribes fall asleep, misspell, take their eyes off the manuscript, and so on. I recommend telling people what kind of errors have crept into the Bible. Starting with the New Testament, Dan Wallace, New Testament scholar and founder the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, lists 4 types of errors in Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible’s Origin, Reliability, and Meaning…. Read this in full at
http://blogs.christianpost.com/guest-views/2012/03/what-to-say-when-someone-says-the-bible-has-errors-06/

KNOXVILLE SELECTED AS FIRST CITY TO PARTICIPATE IN BETHANY CHRISTIAN SERVICES’ ‘ONE FAMILY’ CAMPAIGN SUPPORTING GLOBAL ORPHAN CARE
With more than 150 million orphans around the world waiting to be placed with a forever family, Bethany Christian Services, the nation’s premier family preservation agency, has announced the introduction of the “One Family” campaign (http://www.bethanyonefamily.org/knoxville) partnering US cities with cities abroad. After careful consideration, the agency has selected Knoxville to launch the “One Family” campaign, partnering Tennessee’s third largest city with Addis Ababa in Ethiopia as a result of the Knoxville community’s rich history of compassion and commitment to human welfare.

The primary objective of “One Family” is to provide critical support to communities in need around the world in the development of a sustainable orphan care system to ensure that children who have lost one or both parents to war, AIDS, disease, abandonment, poverty or natural disaster, receive the love and nurturing they require…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/7114819115.html

FOX DVD ‘WE BOUGHT A ZOO’ EXPLORES THEMES OF SACRIFICE, HOPE AND SERVICE
Director Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) strikes a winning chord with his film WE BOUGHT A ZOO not only by showing how all of God’s creatures can exist in harmony, but by returning to a persistent theme in his work — that victory is always within reach when we respond to challenges with determination and love. This uplifting celebration of life and family arrives on Blu-ray and DVD April 3 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

WE BOUGHT A ZOO is based on the true story of newspaper writer Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) who buys a small zoo to begin life afresh with his children after the passing of his wife. Unlike many Hollywood stories, this tale allows its hero to find fulfillment and hope not with the standard conclusion of “getting the girl” but by embracing his cross and turning it into a joyful service of others. By the film’s end, Benjamin receives the courage he needs to sacrifice for his family, overcome obstacles, and bring happiness and fulfillment to all the people in his life…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/796818978.html

DUTCH MOBILE EUTHANASIA UNITS TO MAKE HOUSE CALLS
A controversial system of mobile euthanasia units that will travel around the country to respond to the wishes of sick people who wish to end their lives has been launched in the Netherlands.

The scheme will send teams of specially trained doctors and nurses to the homes of people whose own doctors have refused to carry out patients’ requests to end their lives.

The launch of the so-called Levenseinde, or “Life End”, house-call units – whose services are being offered to Dutch citizens free of charge – coincides with the opening of a clinic of the same name in The Hague, which will take patients with incurable illnesses as well as others who do not want to die at home.

The scheme is an initiative by the Dutch Association for a Voluntary End to Life (NVVE), a 130,000-member euthanasia organization that is the biggest of its kind in the world…. Read this in full at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/01/dutch-mobile-euthanasia-units

CONSIDER
“A dear old friend of mine used to say with the truest Christian charity, when he heard any one being loudly condemned for some fault: ‘Ah! well, yes, it seems very bad to me, because it is not my way of sinning!’”
Charles D. Williams

VERSE TO PONDER
“LORD, you are my God. I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, planned long ago, faithful and sure.”
Isaiah 25:1 (CEB)

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: JESUS, LOVER OF MY SOUL
Words: Charles Wesley, 1740
Music: Joseph Parry, 1879

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.

Wilt Thou not regard my call? Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall — Lo! on Thee I cast my care;
Reach me out Thy gracious hand! While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand, dying, and behold, I live.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name, I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.

>from NetHymnal at
http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/l/jlmysoul.htm

ON PRAYER
“It is not possible to say, ‘I shall pray’ or ‘I shall not pray,’ as if it were an act according to our own good pleasure. To be a Christian and to pray are one and the same thing; it is a matter that cannot be left to our caprice. It is a need, a kind of breathing necessary to life.”
Karl Barth (1886-1968), Prayer, Westminster John Knox Press, 2002, p. 15

PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
http://christiansincrisis.net/

DAILY BLESSING PACT
Use the following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother or situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.

I am agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake you!

PERSONAL
Marital harmony
Family unity
Children saved
Faithful pastor
Spirit-filled church
Real friendships
Relatives redeemed
Educational benefits
Recreational time
Fulfilling career
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will

FINANCIAL
Better Jobs
Raises or bonuses
Benefits
Sales & commissions
Business Growth
Settlements
Estates & inheritances
Investment increase
Rebates & returns
Checks in the mail
Gifts & surprises
Money to be found
Bills decrease while blessings increase

“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God” (Deut. 28:2).

[As you
travel on business or vacation, let me know if you’d like us
to add you
to our prayer
chain
to pray for your safety and spiritual
effectiveness.
I’ll add your name to the list for the time you’ll be away.]

CLASSIFIEDS
Are you looking for something or do you have something to sell? Let me know and I’ll put it in this newsletter.

The Complete Gift Solution
http://www.FranksWorldOfGifts.com

Books, Music & More!
http://www.ChristianConnectionBooks.com

Get your domain name here!
http://www.GoGlobalDomains.com

Up to 50 Free Penny Auction Bids
I’m giving away up to 50 free bids to use in my penny auction site. I will be giving away TONS of free bids for you to start bidding in our exciting Penny Auctions. Register a Free account today to lock in your spot.
http://www.fdcoleman.zeekler.com/splash/

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

Dollar Shave Club
http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/

SomersaultNOW dashboard of publishing and marketing news
http://www.netvibes.com/somersault

All links to websites are provided as a service, and do not imply endorsement by this ministry.

(BTW: whenever the URLs in this newsletter are too long to turn into links on your e-mail program, just copy the entire URL (two lines or more) and paste it into a temporary email message. Then delete the return in the middle of it and copy it again. Then paste it into your web browser and hit enter.)

Every golf shot makes somebody happy.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
Rev.frank

Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual growth. Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

The CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to interact with other men on our journey of faith in Christ together. Large group, small group, and one-to-one events encourage relationship building and spiritual strengthening that result in maximizing the potential we all have in Christ.
Contact Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, frank if you’d like to participate in a men’s discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
Visit our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.org/

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